Cade Webb from Cowboys Ride For Free was kind enough to join us to break down Saturday’s showdown with Oklahoma State in Morgantown.
Matt: Coming off a 13-10 nailbiter in Austin, what's the feeling like in Stillwater? Was that result created by a good Texas D or are there legit playcalling/execution issues appearing that could bite the Pokes?
Cade: I think there's a lot of angst in Stillwater right now, but I also think there's still a ton of confidence. What we saw last weekend was an offense hamstrung by injuries to the offensive line, poor play calling, and an excellent defensive performance by Texas. All three of those things contributed greatly to a massively underwhelming performance in Austin - at least on the offensive side of the ball. The defense, however, is playing out of its mind right now. They held Texas to 10 points at home, and held Baylor to 16 (just one touchdown) a week before that. They're playing well on the defensive line, the front seven, and in the secondary. If the offense finds just a little bit of room, I think people will feel a lot better about where this Oklahoma State team is at.
Matt: This is a phenomenal QB showdown we're looking at on Saturday. In your opinion, what sets Mason Rudolph apart from the other great QBs in this league?
Cade: I think Mason throws the best deep ball in the country. Yes, he has James Washington to sling it to, but he has made countless jaw-dropping throws down the field in his career. He's more inconsistent than Mayfield and Grier in the intermediate passing game, but I think he throws the best deep ball out of those three.
As good as Mason Rudolph is at throwing footballs, his leadership on the field can not be overstated. The team goes as he goes, both on the field and on the sideline. He commands the huddle, and is constantly pumping his guys up on the sideline when he knows they need it. That's where I think he's most valuable to this team, believe it or not.
Matt: Outside of the Rudolph/Hill/Washington trio, who are some under the radar Cowboys on offense?
Cade: The Cowboy offense is loaded at the wide receiver spot. Not only do defenses have to worry about James Washington, but there's another guy on the opposite side of the field to watch. Marcell Ateman, a 6'4", 220 lb. monster on the edge, is a matchup nightmare for defenses in the Big 12. He's a carbon-copy of Mike Evans. What makes him so dangerous is the fact that he's usually in man-to-man coverage, and if that's the case, there aren't a lot of corners that can match up to him.
Along with Ateman, I'd say keep an eye on WR's Jalen McCleskey and Tyron Johnson. McCleskey has hauled in five touchdowns this season, and is an integral part of the offense in the slot. When the Cowboys go five-wide, you'll see Johnson line up in the slot as well. He's a former five-star recruit, and transferred to Oklahoma State from LSU last year. While he has played sparingly, it's clear that his athletic ability is superior to most. If he gets in the open field, it's over.
Matt: Will Grier loves two things: bow ties and deep balls. How have the Pokes stacked up against big plays this year?
Cade: You forgot one thing; cheesy Versace sunglasses that I can't afford. I jest.
Oklahoma State, surprisingly, has been one of the best teams against the deep ball in the entire country this season. Through seven games, they've given up just four passing touchdowns. That's pretty astounding, considering the fact that they're starting a true sophomore and a redshirt freshman at the cornerback spot. That being said, Will Grier will be the best quarterback they've faced BY FAR this season. While the secondary has been very impressive, they haven't seen anything like Grier yet. It's a fascinating matchup to watch.
Matt: How does this one shake out?
Cade: I think this is a lower-scoring game than most people think. The over/under, as of Thursday night, was 73. I don't think this game gets anywhere close. Rain is expected in the forecast, which naturally means there will be less throwing and more running. If that's the case, I like Oklahoma State's ability to run the ball in this game. They're expecting to bring back multiple starters on the offensive line, which would be a massive boost, considering how depleted they were against Texas. Looking at the last few games, West Virginia has struggled to run the ball, and Oklahoma State has played extremely well against the run. If that theme keeps up, I see Oklahoma State winning this game. I'll take the Cowboys 34-27.
Matt: What's the best thing on TV right now and why is it the DuckTales reboot?
Cade: The best thing on TV right now is Shameless on my Netflix account. The DuckTales reboot rivals Fuller House. Don't @ me.